Florida Buyer Broker
Is Florida’s’ real estate inventory of homes low?
There are plenty of Florida homes for sale. The problem is the price of real estate is no longer affordable for the average buyer.
Real estate prices are so high property is no longer affordable for many aspiring homeowners. Even foreclosure properties are priced higher than most buyers can afford and typically need a lot of work when they are offered for sale.
Incomes for potential 2nd home and primary property owners has not kept pace with the rising price of real estate in Florida.
For decades, the most affordable real estate for entry level Florida homes for sale was between $125,000 for a condominium and $325,000 for an entry level single family home. More affluent buyers and 2nd home buyers have typically spent up to $450,000 for a off water luxury condominium, $800,000 for beach front luxury condominium. The average affluent buyer spent between $500,000 for a resale home and up to $800,000 for a new second home in a golf course community in Florida.
Some real estate database systems are showing more rental properties available than Florida homes for sale.
During 2019 and in the summer of 2020 with COVID-19 many Florida residence lost their jobs. Many were unable to pay their mortgages. Most, but not all, lenders offered property owners options to keep their property by postponing mortgage payments and later modifying their loans.
Foreclosure percentage is likely to gain momentum.
Between 2021 and 2023 annual rental rates began to dramatically increase. Large corporate investors added Florida single family homes to their REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) portfolios. Many targeted coastal and recreational areas in Florida. They based their annual rental rates on seasonal rates, which are not affordable to the local renters. More renters and homeowners are sharing space to meet their housing needs in 2023. Some, new, large apartment complexes have large vacancy ratios because locals tenants cannot afford to rent them. Investors want to make a profit. Because seasonal rental rates are high, rentals are plentiful with many vacancies the spring, summer and fall of 2023. Most Florida’s annual renters can not afford to pay seasonal rental prices annually. Consequently, they also can not afford to save to purchase a property in the future.
Real estate brokers are STILL buying homes from the sellers and flipping them at higher prices before buyers have an opportunity to purchase the property directly from the property seller.
Florida Buyer Broker believes this is unethical. Understandably in 2019 and 2020 many people lost their employment opportunities. People still needed to sell their properties. During the Covid 19 pandemic, buyers did not want to go inside of a property for a viewing. Real estate brokers began buying their sellers listings and flipping them. Why would a seller give up their equity to a real estate broker who is going to flip their property to a buyer instead of waiting for the buyer? Covid-19 pandemic stifled real estate sales.
Real estate brokers continued to purchase homes at discounted prices from sellers who needed to sell long after the Covid 19 scare was over. They continued to flipped properties at higher prices to buyers. At the end of 2021, one very large real estate broker from California admitted they made a mistake. As a 3rd party real estate valuation system they linked to a very large real estate organizations database system. They said properties do not appreciate at the high rate they were trying to obtain from buyers by flipping properties they were buying and they immediately sold off their real estate inventory. There was never any accountability required of these two organizations working together to inflate US property values. Appraisers had to work with inflated information they obtained regarding home sales generated by these entities.
This set the stage for real estate brokers to buy listings outright from sellers and then flip them to buyers or investors who were coming from all over the world to buy US property for their REITS paying cash.
Why are real estate brokers still buying and flipping properties without giving the seller the equity?
Because sellers don’t want to wait for buyers. Brokers are offering to purchase with cash and giving the sellers the option to close at their leisure. Many sellers like the idea of not being pressured to move. I wonder if they realized it cost costing them $20,000 to $100,000 in equity to do a quick cash sale. I wonder if they would have waited a few months to close? There are probably a large number of sellers with seller’s remorse today.
It is the now the end of 2023 and sellers are still being rescued by brokers and investors paying cash for homes to flip or to rent. Many buyers have been totally priced out of the market. It is not because interest rates are high. Lowering rates will not make as much difference when prices are to high for the average buyer.
Florida sellers are waiting longer for sales. While smart real estate brokers and investors are refinancing and taking the equity out of properties they own and then putting them on the market for sale. They may then try to short sell in hopes of negotiating with banks to take lower pay-offs on mortgages.
Florida Sellers list their properties for sale at the end of the year anticipating the flock of Snowbirds who buy in the winter. The Snowbirds coming from colder States will be purchasing homes at the high prices offered on Florida properties. Most will pay cash from the proceeds of their property sales. Florida unemployed, distress or relocating homeowners still have hope of obtaining high prices from affluent Snowbirds.
Cash buyers are King of Florida homes for sale!
Hurricane Ian has made it very difficult or impracticable to obtain homeowners insurance in some cases and places in Florida. Lenders will not write mortgages without homeowners’ insurance. Pricey homeowner’s insurance is another reason why the average homebuyer or 2nd homeowner will not purchase in Florida the winter of 2023.
Some cash investors may find themselves with negative cash flows. Smart investors will often refinance a property to take out their cash, equity and then sell. Especially when the property is giving them a negative cash flow.
Statistics show a very large number of property showings in Florida for the winter of 2022. However, overall numbers of sales were down in most areas of Florida by the spring of 2023. Snowbirds came, looked and left without purchasing. They feel the pressure the economy is already putting on their basic lifestyle. Prices of insurance and real estate taxes are very high in Florida for new residents and investors.
Some resort areas where real estate investors have purchased to rent are saturated with properties for sale.
Although prices are still very high in resort areas. Sellers in those areas, especially in coastal areas, should be much more competitive the winter of 2023. Many investors and sellers will have a lot of equity to negotiate and are ready to sell because their taxes and insurance payments are too high for them too!
Does real estate history repeat itself?
In 2009-2012 many investors took out their equity by refinancing. Then, if they could not sell the property via a short sale they just let it go into foreclosure. This ultimately impacts the banks who are lending money and often has them taking the property in foreclosure.
Prices in communities impacted by hurricanes are likely to be higher, because there will be less inventory. Investors need to make up for their loses. Affluent cash buyers and investors do not always carry insurance on their properties. Many of them now own vacant lots instead of buildings!
Affluent snowbirds will be back in the winter of 2023.
They must be willing to pay the highly inflated rates offered for seasonal rentals or buy property at high prices.
AirBnB guest, short term or seasonal renters may look for a room for rent, instead of an entire home or condominium. More Florida homeowners may consider renting portions of their homes as a result of inflated prices of homeowners insurance, gas and groceries.
“The most important thing a buyer can do is first of all work with a buyer broker.”
As stated by AARP and the Consumer Federation of America in REALTOR® NEWS
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Beverly Howe, buyer broker relationship with buyers is always Single Agency representing buyer’s only. Her buyer clients receive undivided loyalty throughout the real estate transaction. See Fiduciary Duties required by Florida Law and Brokerage Relationships , Buyer Agent Disclosure for more information.
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